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Open Architecture Challenge: [UN]Restricted Access


Competition Requirements

Basic Entry Information:

Entrants will be asked to identify a site, in or near their community, and to develop a design concept for that site. If you cannot identify a local site, you can choose a recommended site identified by Architecture for Humanity.

Click here for the Sample Sites

A Pre-Development Competition

Unlike our past competitions, which directly led to built projects, this is a pre-development competition. Proposals should be a feasible and tangible resource for communities. Site visits are optional and the designer is responsible for obtaining permission to legally enter the site.

Architecture for Humanity, its partners, and assigns neither endorse nor encourage the illegal trespass upon or unauthorized access to restricted sites.

Each entry must be accompanied by an entry fee and must meet the requirements for registration and submission outlined below.

Competition Details

Starts: October 18, 2011

Registration Ends: May 01, 2012 at 11:59pm (Pacific Daylight Time) [Extended]

Entries Due: June 01, 2012 at 11:59pm (PDT) [Extended]

Open To: Design related professional and non-professional multi-disciplinary teams.

Entry Fee:
$50 USD per entry (designers)
$25 USD per entry (students)
$0 USD entrants from developing nations and dues paying AFH Chapter Members
Please download our Developing Countries List to see who qualifies. Countries are based on World Bank classification

No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Please contact us to discuss.

Registration Requirements

Everyone is welcome to participate regardless of professional status, job, sex, race, age or nationality. Entrants do not need to be licensed architects or landscape architects to participate. Designs may be submitted by an individual or by a team. There is no limit to the number of entries per person, or the number of teams with which an individual may participate.

Entrants must register to participate in the Open Architecture Challenge. Only registered entrants will have access to the competition criteria, design brief and other background information.

Please note: Each entry must be accompanied by an entry fee and must meet the requirements for submission outlined below.

How to Register

Entrants must first join Worldchanging: in order to register for the competition.

The deadline for competition registration is May 01, 2011 at 11:59pm Pacific Standard Time (PST). The registration fee may be waived in certain cases (see "Registration Fees" below).

Once payment has been received, entrants will be redirected to the competition page on Worldchanging. There they will have access to the competition criteria, design brief and other background information. They will also receive a confirmation email that will include their Entrant ID Number and a link to their entry page on Worldchanging.

Team Entrants

One registered user must start the project and invite other team members. This individual is considered the Team Lead and will be the contact between designers and competition administrators for the purposes of communication. Please be certain to keep contact information for all team members current on Worldchanging.

Student Entrants

Students and faculty are invited to work together and submit entries as a team or individually. For judging purposes, each design is considered as a separate entry and a separate fee must be paid for each entry. Multiple designs will not be considered as a single entry.

Student work is judged alongside that of professionals, and jury members will not be advised of the difference.

Please Contact us, if you plan to pay multiple entry fees together. The registration system only supports one payment at a time.

Submission Requirements


  • The submission must be original in content.
  • All entries must be submitted without identifying marks, including logos, text, insignia, or images on the display surface that could be used to identify the submission’s authors.
  • All digital files must be submitted to the “Files” tab of your competition project page on the Open Architecture Network. All file names should include the
  • Competition Entry ID Number assigned during registration (ie: entrant ID number_imagename.jpg).
  • Image format: All Required image files must be 3000 pixels x 2000 pixels (15in x 10in @ 200 DPI) in JPEG or PNG format.
  • The presentation board should be 24in x 36in at a minimum of 200dpi.
  • Units: All dimensions, must be metric.
  • Language: All text and annotations must be in English.


1. Project Description Text

  • All text on the entry must be included in the text field on the entry page and on a text file uploaded to the files tab.
  • Project administrators can add or change this text by clicking the edit button in the top left corner of the page.
  • This should be a full description of your proposed design (200 word minimum), including a list of proposed construction materials.
  • The files should be named/saved as: entrant ID number_00_textdescription.doc

2. Presentation Board @ 24"x36"

  • The presentation board should clearly display the entrant's approach. The planning and design, approach to sustainability and material use should be included.
  • This board MUST be the first image to appear in the slideshow for judging purposes.
  • The file should be named/saved as: entrant ID number_01_mainboard.jpg

3. Plan(s)

  • The building plans do not have to be to scale but should accurately portray the ground level of your proposal. If plans are to scale, include written and graphic scales.
  • The file should be named/saved as: entrant ID number _02_buildingplan_01.jpg; entrant ID number _02_buildingplan_02.jpg, etc.

4. Elevation(s)

  • The building elevations do not have to be to scale, but should accurately portray the elevation(s) of your proposal. If elevations are to scale, include written and graphic scales.
  • The file should be named/saved as: entrant ID number _03_elevation_01.jpg; entrant ID number _03_elevation_02.jpg, etc.


5. CAD file, e.g. Autocad, Sketchup, Revit, Vectorworks.

  • We are strongly encouraging people to include a Sketchup model, if possible.
  • If you are creating a two-dimensional drawing please include plans and elevations in the file.
  • Format: .DWG, .DXF, .VWX, .SKP, RVT,
  • The file should be named/saved as: entrant ID

6. Additional Renderings and Supplemental Images

  • Entrants are invited to submit a maximum of two supplemental files. For example, applicants may scan photos of a model, hand-drawn sketches, ink drawings, 3D computer graphic renderings, or web animations.
  • Supplemental files must be uploaded to your project page on the Open Architecture Network.
  • You may submit images, text, video files, renderings, or any other file type supported by the Open Architecture Network.
  • The file(s) should be named/saved as: entrant ID and entrant ID accordingly.

If you are having trouble uploading your files, please contact us (at immediately.

File Synopsis


  • [entrant ID number]_00_textdescription.doc
  • [entrant ID number]_01_mainboard.jpg
  • [entrant ID number]_02_plan_XX.jpg
  • [entrant ID number]_03_elevation_XX.jpg

Strongly Recommended:

  • [entrant ID number]_CAD


  • [entrant ID number]_07_supplementalimage_XX.jpg

How to submit

Once you have gathered the required text and image files and uploaded them to Worldchanging, you may make Edits and changes until the Submission Deadline.

After the submission deadline, jury members will view submissions. Entrants will NOT be allowed to edit any project details or files once they have been submitted to the jury. Editing may resume after the competition is complete and a winning design has been selected. If we have any trouble reading or opening your entry, competition organizers will notify you.


The purpose of the Open Architecture Challenge is to invite teachers, students and design professionals to work together to design new ideas for retired military sites. To that end, we ask that all entrants read and agree to the rules before entering the competition. The rules are intended to make it possible for Architecture for Humanity to share all of designs submitted to the competition with those who could benefit most from them and—ultimately—to build the winning designs.

In submitting an entry to the Open Architecture Challenge, all participants agree to comply with the rules and terms of entry below.


The Open Architecture Challenge is an open, international competition. Direct employees and family members of employees of Architecture for Humanity are precluded from participating in the competition, but there are no other restrictions on who can enter. Architects, design professionals, non-professionals, professionals in other fields and students of all ages are encouraged to participate.

In order to enter the competition, entrants must register for Worldchanging. Participants may submit an entry for one or more sites and may submit multiple entries for the same site, however, each entry must be accompanied by an entry fee.

For judging purposes, each design is considered as a separate entry and a separate entry fee must be paid. Multiple designs will not be considered as a single entry.

Period of Submission

Entrants are invited to develop their design throughout the submission period. Once the submission period has ended, they will not be permitted to make changes to their entry until the judging has concluded at which time entrants will regain access to their project and may continue to develop their design. Entries that are late, illegible, incomplete, misdirected or incompletely received will not be eligible.

The competition organizers reserve the right to delay or extend the period of submission.

Anonymity and Design Credit

All files uploaded must be submitted without any markings that will identify team members in order to facilitate fair judging of the competition. Plans, Elevations, Site Plans, Renderings and any other files submitted for consideration should not include title blocks or any other identifying information. Failure to comply with this rule will lead to disqualification.

This does not apply to the Project Details or "Edit Settings" area of each entry, which must be completed in full and must include the names and roles of all team members. Please note: Information entered in the Project Details or Project Settings area will be used to give proper credit to design team members.

Ownership and Copyright

By entering the competition, entrants agree to a) post entry materials to Worldchanging and to the Terms of Use of Worldchanging; b) to license all materials submitted under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license and to adhere to the terms of that license. Learn about the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license. Please note, however, that to the extent these Rules conflict with the Terms of Use of Worldchanging or the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license, these Rules govern the competition.

Entrants shall own all design concepts, drawings, images, renderings, sketches, photographs, models, and/or text, documents, information or other materials submitted in association with the competition provided. However, the entrant hereby grants Architecture for Humanity and its designees perpetual, free, unrestricted use of the submission materials in fulfillment of its charitable purposes, including its annual report, its websites and in communications with volunteers, funders and the media and all other purposes specified in these Rules. Such use is expressly not directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation.

The entrant further hereby grants Architecture for Humanity and its designees a perpetual, free, unrestricted license to use the submission materials in fulfillment of its social investment projects for the design and construction in the developing world and in its annual report, its websites and in communications with volunteers, funders and the media and all other purposes specified in these Rules.

Notwithstanding Architecture for Humanity’s rights as Licensors, competition entrants shall retain full rights to use the documents in other projects for commercial and for-profit purposes.

By entering this competition entrants warrant that all materials submitted by them are their own, that nothing in the submission of these materials will infringe the copyright or any other right of any person and that they have full authority to submit the materials for such purposes.

Exhibition and Publication

The organizers will exhibit selected entries to the Open Architecture Challenge during and after the competition. The results of the competition may be presented online, in galleries or other venues, or in a printed publication and all entries will be available to be viewed on Worldchanging and on Architecture for Humanity’s website. Selected and Finalist entrants may be asked to build scale models representing their design and provide printed presentation boards for exhibition purposes.

In any exhibition, publication, or website, the organizers will make every effort to properly credit the appropriate competitors. Architecture for Humanity! and its designees reserve the right to utilize materials submitted by entrants in any publication or promotional endeavor in perpetuity and free of charge (See "Ownership and Copyright").


The jury has the sole authority and responsibility to recommend winners at the end of the competition. The organizers reserve the right to make a final decision regarding the winning design and any funding that may be made available for the development or implementation of designs entered into the competition. The competition administrators’ decisions in connection with all matters concerning the competition shall be final and binding.

Limitation of Liability

By entering the competition, all entrants and team members agree to indemnify, defend and hold Architect for Humanity including its chartered units, and its governors, directors, officers, employees, agents, partners, funders, sponsors and volunteers from and against any and all suits, claims, demands, liabilities, damages, costs and expenses (reasonable attorneys’ fees) arising out of or relating in any way to services it provides in connection with this agreement.

If you have any questions about the rules stipulated above, please do not hesitate to contactthe competition administrators.

Commitments and Obligations

Finalists must be willing to agree to the commitments and obligations described below in order to receive award funding and to be acknowledged as a finalist of the design competition.

  • to create a physical model and print presentation boards to be used for exhibition purposes;
  • to engage community members and other beneficiaries in the design process;
  • to promote and propose the use of local materials and local labor whenever practicable;
  • to promote sustainable and environmental practices.

We hope your design is selected, and we look forward to working with you.

Competition Details

  • Name: Open Architecture Challenge: [UN]Restricted Access
  • Host: Architecture for Humanity
  • Type: Public
  • Registration Deadline: May 01 2012
  • Submission Deadline: June 01 2012
  • Entry Fee: $50 USD Professionals , $25 USD Students , $0 USD Dues paying Architecture for Humanity Chapter members , $0 USD Developing Nations
  • Award: More than $5,000 in prizes
  • Status: Concluded

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